May 25, 2018

Dear Medical College of Georgia Friends,

Dr. Daniel Albo named Surgery Department Chair
We have talked recently about new MCG leaders, and we always talk about amazing faculty, and this individual is definitely both. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Daniel Albo as our new chair of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Albo starts his newest job here July 1. Some of you longtimers like me may remember when Dr. Albo was here the first time for a couple of years in the early 2000s. I am glad that time brought him back to MCG, where this accomplished surgical oncologist, as is his norm, has been working again full tilt, to take great care of patients and to also more broadly to make our medical school even better. 

Dr. Albo is already a great leader and collaborator
He is already a great colleague and driver of work that needs doing, not just within his department, but also at the Georgia Cancer Center and with our Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. He and Dr. Steffen Meiler, our anesthesiology chair, have become fast partners who are working to improve our entire perioperative process in an effort that will improve both our patient care and our bottom line. I know there are many great things ahead from this impassioned professional who has served as our surgery vice chair since October 2017. Read more about his extensive accomplishments here. We have to note one of his most recent achievements is selection for the prestigious American Surgical Association, which has worldwide membership of the top academic surgeons.

Dr. Charlie Howell will be focusing on special projects starting July 1
Of course the other side of this coin is that Dr. Charlie Howell, MCG graduate, pediatric surgeon and longtime leader of our pediatric surgery program, who stepped up to be surgery chair in 2010, will soon be moving on – but not moving far – to do special projects for us. While two very distinctive individuals, these two do have some interesting common ground like a passion and commitment that you can read on their face and see in their action. Dr. Howell is practically the definition of emphatic, particularly when dealing with high stakes like the life of a child or the health of his medical school. He is a force that has not slowed and likely cannot. Even our most enthusiastic thanks in return seems inadequate, but we do thank Charlie Howell.

Dr. Mary Arthur is editor of handy handbook for residents
Back to anesthesiology for one more important moment. Dr. Mary E. Arthur, director of our anesthesiology residency, is editor of an incredibly helpful how-to handbook – Anesthesiology CA-1 Pocket Survival Guide – for new anesthesiology residents. This goes back to great collaboration and innovation as well. Dr. David E. Fritz completed his anesthesiology residency here as co-chief in 2016 and pain management fellowship here the next year. While he was with us, he took it upon himself to write a basic how-to handbook for new anesthesiology residents while he was still here doing his residency, which is amazing on its face. It was an instant hit here.

Former anesthesiology resident, fellow Dr. David Fritz laid the important groundwork
Dr. Arthur told him what a great idea it was and asked if they could collaboratively expand its scope and content and make it available to the world. By then, he was too busy to take this on again, so Dr. Arthur recruited colleagues at the University of Kentucky, University of Colorado and Cleveland Clinic, along with some of her MCG associates to make this useful project happen. The result, published by Oxford University Press, covers things like exams, work-life balance and evaluating the patient, and comes out next month. Congratulations and thanks to all for this unique contribution to education of the next generation.

Dr. Kathryn Bollinger receives $1.5 million grant for glaucoma research
Please also join me in congratulating Dr. Kathryn Bollinger, an MD/PhD in our Department of Ophthalmology, for receiving a $1.5 million grant from the National Eye Institute. Dr. Bollinger treats patients with glaucoma and does research on this second leading cause of blindness because, like so many of you, she wants to be able to do even better for patients. While current strategies deal with trying to reduce pressure on the eye by increasing outflow and/or increasing fluid production, she wants to also provide better protection for the neurons in our eyes that are critical to the ability to see our child’s face or one of those amazing rainbows that appeared this week. More to come on her important, translational efforts next week on our home page,, and hopefully across the world. 

MCG Medicine magazine will be in hand next week
Out in print next week is the spring/summer issue of our MCG Medicine magazine. It’s already out there online here. But for those of us who still like to hold a publication in our hands, please feel free to come by the dean’s office late next week – probably Friday – and pick up a couple. There’s a big cover story on how ultrasound is impacting medical care and how we are leaders, particularly in the education of the next generation of physicians, on the use of this increasingly small and portable technology that opens a window into our bodies. In fact, there are a lot of stories of the fascinating, life-changing work going on right here and by our alumni like Drs. Drew and Kaylar Howard (Class of 1992). Today they run a large OB/GYN practice in Tifton, Georgia, and their many great contributions to medicine include creating a scholarship at their alma mater to help recruit more students who, like them, want to help care for our largely rural state, see here. I cannot thank the Howards enough for caring so much about their alma mater and the people of Georgia.

Ali Ennis, medical illustrator, drew the cover illustration
I wanted to add here our congratulations and thanks to Ali Ennis, medical illustrator in Academic Affairs for helping us bring to life, on the cover of MCG Medicine, the power of painless ultrasound. This was her first contribution to our biannual magazine and we hope it will not be her last. Definitely check out her work, and note the iconic MCG class ring on the hand of one physician. I hear that was the idea of Dr. Matt Lyon – another great MCG graduate who is a definite leader in many things, including ultrasound education – and I like it.

State of the College set for noon, Friday, Aug. 10
I have set noon, Friday, Aug. 10 in the Lee Auditorium for this year’s State of the College Address. Please mark your calendars now to be there then. As we have said before, the state of MCG for the most part reflects the efforts of you. I would like you there so together we can celebrate your accomplishments and consider our challenges and our future.


Upcoming Events

June 22 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

July 30 – Freshman Reception, 5 p.m., Harrison Commons, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association.

August 1 – Freshman Lunch, noon, AU/UGA Medical Partnership campus, Athens, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association.

Aug. 10 – MCG State of the College, noon, Lee Auditorium. 

Nov. 9 – The annual Memorial Service for Body Donors will be held at 1 p.m. in the. Lee Auditorium. Donors’ families and friends are the honored guests. The service is conducted jointly by the students, faculty, and chaplains from the Medical College of Georgia and its Athens campus, the AU/UGA Medical Partnership, the Dental College of Georgia, the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences and Nursing and The Graduate School.